Patriots players, coaches appreciative of energized Gillette Stadium during AFC title game
There’s just something special about playing in front of a home crowd, and Gillette Stadium was electric during the New England Patriots AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Home-field advantage in the playoffs is what NFL teams fight so strongly for during the course of the season. The team feeds off the energy of the crowd, and the crowd feeds off the energy of the team.
“I thought there was a lot of energy in the stadium, I sure did,” said head coach Bill Belichick.
While trailing late in the game, the Patriots converted on a third-and-18 with a Tom Brady pass to Danny Amendola to pick up 21 yards; and Brady feels that that was one of the sparks that ignited the players, coaches and crowd to help New England pull off the comeback.
“You need sparks,” Brady said. “You need something to ignite you. When you’re losing, it’s which play are you going to make that’s going to kind of incite everything? That was one of those plays.”
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also mentioned how energized and charged the crowd was on Sunday.
“The stadium, I thought, was amazing,” McDaniels said. “I’ve been here for quite a few great, big games, great atmospheres. And they were tremendous. We needed their support, and I thought they really stepped up. It was a great evening to be a part of and a fun environment to play in.”